PUEBLO — Once a year, Mineral Palace Parks transforms into Pueblo's Pride Festival. 2021's event had such a big turnout that the entire park was lined with cars and full with a sea of people.
"This is our first time back since 2019... I think it might be twice the size of 2019," said Tommy Farrell, President of the Southern Colorado Equality Alliance that hosts the event.
2020's festival was canceled due to COVID-19.
"We do gatherings all the time throughout the whole year, so for us to not be able to get together in this type of setting was difficult," said Dominique Robbins. He and his husband, Rocki Sanders, drove to Pueblo for the event all the way from Rocky Ford. They said they have been coming to Pueblo's Pride Fest for years.
"It's like a family reunion! For the chosen family, but still," said Sanders.
The festival featured local food vendors, live music, a drag show, and even a vaccination bus.
HAPPENING NOW: The #Pueblo #Pride festival at Mineral Palace Park 🏳️🌈 ! The event is going on all through the afternoon & it is PACKED right now! Can’t make it?! No worries! We’ll have full coverage for you at 4:30/5:30 & 10:00 pm on @KOAA pic.twitter.com/5YgtMCDYQj— Natalie Chuck KOAA (@NatalieChuck) August 15, 2021
Farrell is happy that Pueblo's LGBTQ community once again has a festival to look forward to, since he believes the pandemic was especially isolating for them.
"I think a lot of people, especially in the LGBTQ community, really missed out," said Farrell, referring to last year's cancellation.
Sanders believes the attendance rate was so high this year because not only are people ready to be out and about, but the LGBTQ community in Southern Colorado continues to grow each year.
"People are more open in both directions - We're more willing to talk about it and people are more open to listen."
Several LGBTQ resources in Pueblo include: